Students at key stages two and three are most likely to cover the periods we most associate classical music. Both groups could compare traditional music (such as English regional folk music, or Irish songs relating to emigration) with classical music of the 18th and 19th centuries, including opera. They could look for evidence that each type might be associated with different experiences, different social groups and different (or similar) purposes.
Older students might look at the process of change in music within a particular cultural context. The shock of the new, as classical music emerged in its context, could be compared to the shock of new forms of music in other contexts, such as rock and roll.